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Texas Instruments launches chips for self driving cars

The TDA2x will aid 2D and 3D surround view and rear collision warning
Wed Oct 16 2013, 16:51

CHIP DESIGNER Texas Instruments unveiled a family of system on chip (SoC) processors aimed at automakers today, which are designed for use in self-driving cars.

Named the TDA2x, the SoC family integrates safety features, such as aiding auto designers to create advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), which in turn help "reduce the number of collisions on the road and enable autonomous driving experiences".

"TDA2x device family combines an optimal mix of high performance, vision analytics, video, graphics and general purpose processing cores in a low power envelope, enabling a broad range of ADAS applications including front camera, surround view and sensor fusion," Texas Instruments said in its release.

Texas Instruments said that the TDA2x SoC is based on a heterogeneous, scalable architecture that includes the firm's fixed and floating-point C66x DSP cores, a fully programmable Vision Accelerationpac, ARM Cortex A15 MPCore processors and dual Cortex M4 cores. The Vision Accelerationpac is designed to run low to mid-level vision processing functions, offloading the DSP and ARM cores. This, according to Texas Instrumentss, results in better performance using less power.

The SoC also works alongside the TMS320C66x digital sgnal processors (DSP) generation cores, allowing more ADAS algorithms to run simultaneously.

"The [SoC] enables front camera applications including high beam assist, lane keep assist, advanced cruise control, traffic signal recognition, pedestrian and object detection, and collision avoidance to run simultaneously," Texas Instruments said.

TDA2x chips will also allow the running of park assist applications including 2D and 3D surround view and rear collision warning. It can also run a pedestrian/object detection algorithm developed for the front camera.

The TDA2x is sampling now and is intended for "high-volume automotive manufacturers", though it's uncertain which car makers will take advantage of Texas Instrument's new automotive chips.

On Monday, researchers found that drivers put more trust in technology vendors than car manufacturers, finding that many would rather buy a self-driving car from Google than from a manufacturer like Ford.

The KPMG study "Self Driving Cars: Are We Ready?" was based on a combination of surveys and collated "web chatter" and showed that Google was the brand most associated with autonomous motoring, followed by Nissan, after the latter firm's pledge to produce a self-driving vehicle by 2020. µ


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